Did you read it and yawn? Possibly, isn’t it?
Yawning is definitely a phenomenon that can easily be induced and evoked in a person by the mere mention of it. But have ever wondered what possibly the reason for yawning is or how you can stop yourself from yawning?
These are the kind of thoughts that litter one’s mind when they are deprived of sleep at 4 in the morning, isn’t it? All jokes aside, it is necessary to look out for certain red signals related to excessive yawning because the same could be indicative of an underlying health problem that’s inducing tiredness and fatigue in you, hence resulting in you yawning all throughout.
In this article, we are going to be discussing the common reasons behind yawning and how one can stop it from recurring persistently.
What is Yawning and Why Do We Do It?
Yawning is an involuntary process of breathing in deeply to fill in the lungs with a necessary amount of air which, for the majority of the reasons, is because of being tired. While some yawns are short and constant, some prolong and drag out for quite a few seconds more than what one would expect.
If explained in technical terms, yawning is referred to as the common reflex of breathing in air, distension of the eardrums followed by the exhalation of air. It can be a sign of fatigue, tiredness or even when you see someone else yawn which confirms the fact that yawning is actually contagious.
Now, when we arrive at the question of why we yawn, that’s where it gets a bit complicated and the introduction of theories comes into play. In order to explain it in a bit more detail, let us walk ourselves through the common possibilities of why one yawn and the associated reasons tied along with it.
- Let us start with the most old schooled explanation of why one yawn which was believed to be because of the lack of oxygen in the body. Yawning tends to bring in more oxygen which is exactly what one needs to replenish the lack of oxygen in the body. While this was a popular belief back in the day, the same has mostly been debunked because of the lack of evidence to support the claims.
- A study conducted in 2014 (R) explained the correlation between yawning and the possible connection of it with temperature regulation. This is what has been regarded as one of the most concrete evidence to the reasoning behind yawning.
- For the first case scenario, when you are tired, there is a tendency for your brain to become a lot inactive which exposes to experience a drop in temperature which is what results in yawning.
- For the second case scenario, when you are bored, the lack of stimulation in the brain is what causes it to slow down gradually, thus causing a drop in temperature and a possibility of inducing a yawn.
- For the third case scenario, when you some else yawn, there has been an established correlation that being present in the same room exposes you to the same temperature that the other person is in which is exactly what induces the reflex of you yawning as well.
- Another possible reason for yawning is when someone suffers from a migraine. A migraine has the capability of inducing blood clots in the brain which results in the extreme pain that one goes through. Yawning helps you cool off your brain without exerting much pressure to he already worse condition.
- Last but not the least, yet another reason for yawning is because it is the body’s way of letting you know that it needs to wake up. Yawning tends to stretch the lungs and the tissues along with proper flexing of the muscles and joints which is what pushes the sudden rush of blood towards your facial region, thereby alerting it to finally wake up.
What Causes Excessive Yawning?
We have walked ourselves through the common aspects of yawning and everything that one needs to know about the reasons behind it. But, are you finding yourself excessively yawning and that too without any possible reason or barrier of time? If such are the cases, there are chances that there are some underlying reasons behind your excessive yawning.
Some of the causes of excessive yawning include:
- Sleeping disorders like that of sleep apnea or even narcolepsy
- Excessive tiredness and fatigue
- Side effects for the medications concerning depression or anxiety like that of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, otherwise known as SSRI for short
- Internal bleeding around the heart
- A possibility of a brain tumour
- Possible heart attack symptoms
- Lack of thermoregulatory properties of the body
- Multiple sclerosis
- Liver failure
How to Stop Yawning?
Yawning can definitely leave you in some very awkward positions which you absolutely didn’t sign up for, right? If you are looking for ways to cure excessive yawning, we got you covered. In this section, we are going to be focusing our attention to the common remedies to stop yawning and that too by tweaking in a few changes in one’s lifestyle.
Some of the easy and effective ways to stop yawning include:
Check Out the Lesser known Facts About Yawning
1. Breathing Helps a Lot
As mentioned in the causes itself, one of the common beliefs were that the lack of oxygen in the body makes a person yawn. If that were the case, calmly breathing in and breathing out helps you stop yawning when tired. Primarily, if you are opting for breathing as an exercise to stop yawning, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
There are three types of breathing:
- The stimulating breathing
- The relaxing breathing
- The breath counting
Stimulating breath is the one almost similar to yoga techniques which helps in raising one’s bar of alertness as well as helps increase the vital capacity of the lungs. For doing this, close your mouth completely ensuring that you are breathing only through your nose. Inhale and exhale at rapid successions and try to breathe in and out, complete 3 in each cycle within a second.
Breath counting is also an effective way of yawning treatment which helps boost one’s alertness to the surroundings. All you have to do is sit in a comfortable position and tilt your head forward and take deep breaths making sure that your eyes remain closed during that time. Starting your counting when you exhale and with each exhalation, count. This ensures proper oxygen levels in the body which is exactly what one needs to stop yawning.
2. Opt for a Cold Compress
A lowered body temperature helps keep the possibility of a yawn at bay. Now, if you are here stuck in an emergency meeting and your boss is about to ask something important and you are finding yourself about to yawn, excuse yourself quickly from the situation. After all, you don’t want to give off the vibe that you are bored with the meeting (even if you are).
Wet a cloth and wring the excess water off and apply this cold cloth on your head. This will help bring down the temperature (R), thereby helping in stopping you from yawning as well. We often yawn when our brain needs some cooling, so in order to stop the yawn, you need to apply the cold compress externally.
3. Chilled Foods and Drinks for Yawning
Chilled foods some chilled beverages can help you keep those pesky yawns away. If you didn’t understand till now, yawning is like a mode of thermoregulation of the body which helps regulate the temperature when it has reached unattainable levels. Eating cold food helps bring the core temperature of the body down, thereby helping to cure excessive yawning.
If the reasons behind yawning are something extremely severe, chances are that even these kinds of remedies won’t work and they would some professional help to treat the underlying problem. One thing to keep in mind if you are trying chilled foods for yawning is to stay away from sugary chilled foods because they tend to make yawning worse.
4. Ginger for Yawning
Are you pretty astounded with this specific remedy? If the answer is yes, sit back because this apparently does work. One of the most renowned herbalists, Mr Richard Whelan exclaimed that yawning (R) can be because of a distended belly as well which is where the use of Ginger comes into play.
The consumption of ginger helps in removing any kind of distension and spasm that’s caused in the stomach as well as the upper respiratory tract. It helps relieve the excessive distension that’s caused in the gut which, in turn, often times contribute to the movement of the diaphragm thereby causing the yawn.
You need to consume around 20 ml of ginger extract every day to keep such signs of yawning at bay.
5. Careful Consumption of Anti-Depressants for Yawning
Anti-depressants have the capability of inducing excessive yawning. It is believed that it is the presence of excess serotoninergic agents which are the primary contributors to inducing excessive yawning. Some of the other types of yawning triggering drugs (R) include the serotonin reuptake inhibitors (R) and the noradrenaline drugs.
The excessive yawning is because of the serotonin which has a thermoregulation factor that affects the brain as well as the core temperature of the individual. As there are possible links between the intake of serotonin based drugs for depression with the event of excessive yawning (R), try and revert to the doctor to check which and what is affecting you to yawn so frequently.
6. Keep Your Anxiety in Check for Yawning
Anxiety is one of the common indirect causes that could be a possible trigger for yawning. Anxiety tends to increase one heart rate, distends the muscles and even ramp up the breathing which altogether contributes to yawning. Hyperventilation during anxiety is very common which something that makes one yawn more is.
In order to cure excessive yawning during anxiety, try and take short breaths and relax. Start with deep breaths and continue doing so until you feel better than before. The calmed breathing process helps in bringing back the levels of oxygen and carbondioxide back to normal which is exactly what your primary goal was.
Calm yourself and take deep breaths and don’t let anything deter you. Focus on a single thing and work yourself up from there.
7. Doodling is a Great Way to Stop Yawning
Whenever you feel like you are about to give up, yawning and go to sleep, you are slightly mistaken. Doodling is an amazing and effective way to not just let your creative juices flow but also helps in keeping your mind distracted from yawning.
In a study (R), it was even mentioned that yawning helps in keeping one focused, concentrated and help cultivate new arts and culture. The activity is what makes you productive and let’s be real; it is also an amazing daily outlet for all your creative juices, isn’t it?
8. Walking at Regular Time Intervals for Yawning
If you are sat all throughout the day, chances are that your body is going to feel overwhelmingly tired (R) and lazy which is something that contributes to yawning. Take short walks in time intervals to rejuvenate yourself from the bout of fatigue and to give yourself a kick-start.
Having a small walk helps boost your body’s overall blood circulation which is what helps contribute to a better sense of alertness and energy in your body which prevents the possibilities of yawning from time to time.
9. Keep Yourself Hydrated to Stop Yawning
If you are finding yourself yawning consistently, chances are that you might be dehydrated which is what is causing you to yawn persistently. Drink at least 6 glass of water every day to ensure the optimum hydration levels are maintained in your body.
If water is something that seems monotonous to drink all the time, switch it up with some coconut water or even any kind of infused water recipes.
10. Lean Protein for Yawning Treatment
If you like the rich taste of fats on the meat, it is time to just get rid of that thought because that is exactly what causes you to yawn more. Leans meats not just help boost the overall energy but also help in curbing the tiredness that one feels because of excessive fat consumption.
Not just that, it is also easier to digest which helps in generating more energy for you to keep the problems regarding yawning at a side. Some of the cuts of meat that include lean meat include chicken, fish, turkey, etc.
How to Prevent Yawning During the Day?
Day or night, the causes and home remedies for yawning don’t really change. But, in order to make it easier for you to grasp the concept, we have sorted out the top 3 remedies that can immediately help stop yawning during the day.
Adhere to a Regular Sleep Cycle
If you want to experience a day that’s filled with no yawning at the most ungodly hours, try and stick with a regular sleeping schedule so you are energised and rejuvenated during the day.
Exercise for a Healthier Well Being
Exercising helps a lot when it comes to treating yawning during the day. A good workout regime during the early morning can help you keep fresh and energised all throughout the day, thereby curbing the possibilities of yawning at bay.
Get a Breathing Device
If none of the common and natural approaches works, the next best thing in the line is to get a breathing device that would help regulate your breathing properly to ensure that you don’t end up feeling tired throughout the day which is what might result in extensive yawning all throughout the day.
Yawning is a way of signal projected by the body that you are either tired or need a good night’s sleep. If you have been suffering from excessive yawning and even the above-mentioned reasons don’t work out for you, try and seek out a professional because there might be possibilities of sudden underlying health conditions causing the problem in the first place.